Med-Tech Roundup: Picking the Low-Hanging Fruit
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  • Corlyss

    “other surgical procedures performed more often than needed”
    Who exactly determines need?

  • jeburke

    I agree with the import of Corlyss’s comment. That a caesarian section is “unnecessary” is not a call I want to see made by some medical bureaucrat.

    As for savings achieved by better management of medications than patients can muster themselves, it sounds plausible but I still doubt it. Consider that many (most?) medications have been deployed over the past 40 years or so (there were few before 1970) to reduce the need for more extensive and expensive treatments and hospitalizations (various cardio-vascular drugs reduce the need for cardiac surgeries, etc.), so we’re already ahead of the game financially by virtue of docs pushing a lot of pills. If some patients don’t manage their meds correctly, we’re still ahead since most do. Any added intervention, I would argue, to address the problems created by those who don’t is bound to wind up costing more for health care providers. One commonly suggested approach to helping elderly patients with multiple chronic illnesses who take multiple medications is to employ nurses who track these patients closely to coordinate care and avoid expensive crises. Unfortunately (for the financial argument), its been found in practice that this approach generates MORE, not less, reliance on the health care system and the crises occur anyway. Plus, the nurses cost money.

    It may make for better health but don’t hold your breath waiting for cost savings.

    • rheddles

      If I have to pay for somebody’s caesarian, I want some bureaucrat deciding what’s necessary. Same for their parents.

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